Yesterday, I was stuck in really congested, bumper to bumper traffic. As I waited for my turn to pass through the intersection, I noticed a power line up ahead that had dozens of birds perched on it. Not an earthshattering moment -- I've actually seen birds on a wire hundreds of times. Yet, the whole "birds on a wire" scenario has been a phenomenon that has always fascinated me: The way the birds are assembled and lined up with such precision, each having its own personal space -- often times equidistant from the next bird. From my perspective, it appears to be a cohesive, respectful, and well run system. Not surprisingly, as I stared at those birds from a distance, I envisioned many similarities to the ActiveRain community. (Hang in there ... I'm really going somewhere with this!)
First, you see all the birds that have been perched there for awhile. Soon enough, a new bird flies by and wants to join in with the other birds. The other birds graciously move their little bird bodies aside to make room for the new bird. They welcome the new bird with open wings (groan), allowing the newcomer to 'chill out' and 'do its thing' -- all with the freedom to express its little inner birdie greatness.
Still with me? Then, something invariably happens. One of the birds develops a bad attitude or does something mean-spirited to another bird. A few birds representing the group start to peck at and push the problem bird off the wire until it flies away. The community of birds stick together and support one another -- while at the same time -- keeping the space vacated by the problem bird open and available for a new bird to join in. And, as crowded as the wire becomes, there always seems to be enough room to welcome new birds to perch, hang out, mingle with the others, and spread their wings (groan again.) Sounds familiar to me.
I wonder what other ActiveRain connections I'll find today. Wait! I think the cream in my coffee just spelled out the letters AR!